Part 3 of the Epic Kyoto Stationery Quest Haul. The first two shops are in the northern part of Teramachi and the third is across the Kamo River. (Part 1; Part 2)
田丸印房 Tamaru InbōI wasn't sure what I was expecting, but this small stamp store and its sister store down the way are exactly that: stamps stores.
They feature hundreds if not thousands of original designs, some very traditional, some pun-crazy, some with historical figures, some simple patterns meant to be used in combination with others, and some just right down vulgar (in a traditional Japanese way). They also had stones and tools for stone seal carving, and while I haven't been into that in years, I know I'll be back here to get stones if I ever pick that up again.
I debated getting a bunch of different items, but with no definite projects in mind, I practiced some self-restraint.
- Flower border stamp - I wanted at least one stamp, so I got this one that I can use when I want to add a bit of flair to the simple stationery that I own.
- Dragonfly stamp - This is a gift for my mother. She has a thing for dragonflies and the dragonfly stamps in the States tend to be a bit goofy looking. It's interesting to see how cultures see animals differently.
- Pointed carving tool - I couldn't resist. When I used to carve, I looked around for years trying to find this exact tool. You'd think it would be easy to find, but no. But now, it's mine!
鳩居堂 KyūkyodōWalk in and you are greeted by the aroma of refined incense and quality paper. They have a large range of various paper products and items for Japanese calligraphy. Their silk screened postcards were as drool-worthy as always and the woodblock print stationery was lovely.
Kyūkyodō is one of the famous stationers in Japan and a lot of their products are available across the country including the Nagoya Tōkyū Hands. This was reason I showed some self-restraint and I was actually not going to buy anything here this time, but there was one thing I couldn't resist.
- Letter set - Hand-carved and hand-printed from a woodblock, I couldn't resist this rabbit. You can see the movement, which I describe to everyone as 「ふわぁ！ 」So lighthearted and sweet, it put a smile on my face and I couldn't bear leaving the store without it.
- Kick-ass wrapping - Not only did the staff get me a new letter set when she noticed some minor crinkles that even I didn't notice in the paper as she was ringing me up, she deftly wrapped it up without an ounce of hesitation and with such precision that I could only stare in awe. Also, the wrapping paper smells like incense. So awesome.
裏具 UraguThis shop was outside of the Kawahara-Shijo area and across the Kamo River, but possibly my favorite shop in terms of design as well as the atmosphere of the shop itself and well worth dropping by, if you can find it. Tucked away in a largely residential area, it is extremely difficult to find. One of those places you find by chance, but will most likely pass by if you are looking for it for the first time.
Once you find it, you are rewarded with a lovely little shop filled with some gorgeous products featuring undoubtedly Japanese motifs in a refined simplicity mixed with an edge that I can't get enough of. I know I will be back here for more next time I'm in Kyoto. So much love for everything in this place.
The line-up is mainly postcards, ippitsusen, mini memo pads, money envelopes, and small envelopes for special occasions. With great self-restraint, I came away with just a few items, but gave in the most at this store than any of the others. I may write another post featuring the goodies I got here on another day.
- Box of note cards - Six different patterns, each unique in its own way. All are designed with vertical writing in mind so usage for me is a bit limited since most of my friends who would appreciate it most, can't reas Japanese. Still didn't stop me from buying them.
- Mamemo: Weeping willow - There were so many different patterns, each a different motif and I knew budget-wise I could only get one, which meant I spent a bit of time staring at each ine, wondering which one spoke to me. I finally settled on the weeping willow. Vertical lines limit the usage to Japanese, but I couldn't put it down.
- Red flower postcard - This was a last-second purchase as my lovelies were being rung up, I looked to the side and my hand reached out before I even thought about it.
- Swallow and rain postcard - This was the postcard that came to mind first when I thought about what I would pick up from this store. This aesthetic hits a sweet spot for me. Total love.
- Arrowhead postcard - I missed this on my reconnaissance. Well, I saw it, but I only noted the colors. I didn't see that it had arrowhead leaves on it. That's part of my family crest. I've never seen this plant look so awesome, so I bought three postcards.
And that's Part 3. One more to go!